This Morning: Dr Chris discusses blood pressure and dementia

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High blood pressure can seem lower down on your list of health priorities because it does not produce any symptoms. It is therefore tempting to downplay its significance. Such complacency could be life-threatening. By adding these four foods into your diet your readings will be lowered with a major reduction in serious health consequences caused by having high blood pressure.

Recent research has suggested four specific foods may lower blood pressure because of plant compound they contain.

A study involving mice and human cells, published in May this year, found resveratrol could have blood pressure-lowering properties.

Previous research has focused on the benefits of resveratrol for heart health.

And now studies which were done on rats and mice have demonstrated its protective effects against stroke, heart failure and high blood pressure.

Some researchers believe the benefits of resveratrol come from its antioxidant properties.

Scientists from King’s College London added resveratrol to the diet of mice with high blood pressure, and the findings were published in the journal Circulation.

The rodents’ blood pressure was monitored for 15 days, and by the end of the study period, those that ate a diet with the addition of resveratrol showed a drop of around 20 millimetres of mercury.

Resveratrol was also found to relax the rodents’ blood vessels.

The authors concluded: “Resveratrol mediates lowering of blood pressure by paradoxically inducing protein oxidation, especially during times of oxidative stress, a mechanism that may be a common feature of ‘antioxidant’ molecules.”

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Four natural sources of resveratrol include:

  • Red wine
  • Blueberries
  • Peanuts
  • Red grapes

Blueberries, red grapes, red wine, and peanuts are some of the natural sources of resveratrol — a plant compound that has received much attention in the medical community recently, said Medical News Today.

The health site continued: “New research in mice and human cells breaks down the mechanism through which resveratrol may lower blood pressure.

“From protecting our neurons against ageing to potentially preventing cancer, a significant number of studies have recently hailed the health benefits of resveratrol.

“Also, a lot of previous research has focused on the benefits of resveratrol for heart health.”

Foods to avoid

Salt is mostly sodium, a mineral that occurs naturally in foods.

Sodium is the substance that may cause your blood pressure to increase.

Other forms of sodium are also present in food. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is another example of a sodium added to food which is common in Chinese food.

Foods such as salted snacks, fried foods, whole milk dairy products, canned soups and deli meat should be avoided to help with high blood pressure.

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